The following activities make up our Community Service program here in the Middle School, where our emphasis is on a hands-on approach to volunteering.
DAYS OF GIVING
This is one of the “big” events of the year for each of our three grades. Students are put into small groups, and along with a teacher and two or three parent chaperones, spend the morning volunteering at a local charitable organization. The morning’s activity is followed by a period of reflection.
HOLIDAY GIFT BAGS
We have a special holiday gift bag for the homeless donated to Star of Hope. We aim to fill 450 bags with useful toiletry products which we collect in an on-going toiletry drive of unused sample or travel-sized toiletries (soap, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc). This is the only drive we have in Middle School as our philosophy is all about students’ active participation, but it runs all year long.
RONALD McDONALD HOUSE ACTIVITY STATION (RoMac Fun Pack Station)
Each Class 7 advisory spends at least one extended advisory period making Fun Packs for Ronald McDonald House Houston, an organization that provides accommodation and other valuable services for families who have a child with a serious illness and need to spend several weeks or months in the hospital. Some of the packs we made in 2016-2017 include activity booklets, door hanger kits, and holiday ornament crafts.
CANDLELIGHTERS FALL FAMILY FESTIVAL
The Candlelighters’ Festival is a fun Halloween party for children affected by cancer and their families, organized and hosted ONLY by 8th grade students. Around 500 people attend the FFF each year, so lots of 8th grade volunteers are needed to help run the games and activities.
It’s all hands on deck for MS students and parents for this amazing event! We are incredibly honored each year to host the SOTX (Special Olympics Texas) track and field competition for around 400 athletes, and an additional 200+ coaches and family members. Special Olympics has been described as "one of the most rewarding and beneficial things students, parents and teachers do all year."
Student volunteer registration page: https://a04stjohnsathleticsvol2015.eventbrite.com
Adult volunteer registration page: https://a04stjohnsadultvols.eventbrite.com
Every middle school advisory arranges their own service project over the course of the year. Students are encouraged to develop and pursue a project that is meaningful to them. Some of the organizations that have been served by our advisories include the Nehemiah Center, Books Between Kids, Nature Discovery Center, and Christian Community Services Center.
CLASS 6 STAR OF HOPE PROJECT
Each Class 6 advisory spends at least one extended advisory period making donations for Star of Hope. These donations vary based on Star of Hope’s needs and have ranged from peanut butter & jelly sandwiches to no-sew fleece baby blankets to Valentine’s treat bags.
COMMUNITY SERVICE CLUB
Community Service Club is offered to MS students during activity period. This gives students the opportunity to serve in many different projects. During the 2016-2017 school year, these projects have included making dog toys for K-9 Angels Rescue, sponsoring a family for Candlelighters Adopt-a-Family holiday program, and volunteering at the Nehemiah Center. Members of Community Service Club also serve as student ambassadors of the Community Service program by promoting school-wide service projects such as the Star of Hope Holiday Drive and Special Olympics.